Humber Culinary programs shape students into “what the industry wants”

Katie Jones
A&E Reporter

Humber’s culinary students know how to cook.

There are three hands-on practical culinary programs offered at Humber College. Baking Pastry Arts Management a two-year program, Culinary Skills a one-year program and a two-year Culinary Management program.

Each program requires students to work in an internship that offers practical experience in a job setting that sets students apart from other college culinary programs.

Shonah Chalmers is the program co-ordinator for the culinary programs. She said students receive a wide breadth of experience with hands-on application both in the class and at their placement.

They are very job-ready when they leave.

“Our school has about a 92 per cent success rate,” said Chalmers. “Our program makes them what the industry wants.”

“We stay on the pulse, we have a program advisory board which keeps us in touch with chefs that are out there right now,” she said.

Chalmers says Humber’s culinary program is different than other colleges because of the teachers.

“What differentiates our program is that our professors are from all walks of culinary fields. We have the most advanced labs you’ll find in any kitchen,” she said

There are four cooking class labs each day. The classes range across the board, including cooking fish, butchery and baking.

Gourmet Express gives students the opportunity to showcase their cooking each day.

Kellie Elliot, the operational co-ordinator of Gourmet Express, says the food cooked and sold is based on the curriculum.

“Whatever they are making that day they send it up to Gourmet Express and we sell it in the store. Our number one priority is to sell the products made by the culinary classes,” she said.

There’s a bonus. The food is not over-priced.

“The food is really well priced,” said Elliot. “Because it’s students we give a pretty good deal. We can get 20 cakes from a baking class and 18 of them will be beautiful and fantastic and two of them will be falling apart at the seams.

“We do give a pretty good deal and we’re pretty easy if anyone has any issues and wants to return an item,” she said.

“There are all kinds of different skills,” she said.

Alycia Jennings, a one-year culinary student switching to the management program to continue her education, said the program has offered a lot more practical experience than other culinary programs.

“I think my program is great,” said Jennings. “We had to take a math course, and even though math isn’t everyone’s favorite thing it was good for me because it was culinary based math.

“We had to take a basic English course, but it was good because everything came back to culinary,” she said.

Jennings said she is excited to continue being a student at Humber.

“Every teacher that I have had so far has been amazing. I haven’t had a teacher that I didn’t enjoy,” she said.

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